Title Ropley’s Legacy
Author Chris Heal
Paperback 234 x 155 mm, RRP £16.99
Content 458 pages • 12 cartoons • 17 B&W illustrations • 12 maps • 25 appendices from the archives
ISBN 978-1-916-1944-3-4
Printer IngramSpark
Publisher Chattaway & Spottiswood, Hampshire

Financial assistance from the Hampshire Archives Trust

Ropley’s Legacy

Ropley’s Legacy has been released for internet sale. Also available directly from:

Alresford: Bookseller Laurence Oxley, 17 Broad Street SO24 9AW; 01962 732188
Alresford: Long Barn Garden Centre, Bishops Sutton Road SO24 9EJ; 01962 738684
Medstead: Handy Store Post Office, High St, Medstead, Alton GU34 5LW; 01420 560247
Ropley: Courtyard Village Shop & Post Office, Church St, SO24 0DS; 01962 773666

Recommended Retail Price £16.99

The very first private parliamentary enclosure in England was in 1709 in Ropley. Driven by the bishop of Winchester, it was a highly contested land grab seeking to make money by taking control of the common fields. Over 150 years, the government sanctioned theft spread to all the neighbouring ridge villages.

Driven by greed and by debts from the ‘South Sea Bubble’, the county’s richest and most powerful men used wage and rent control, repressive game laws and rigged courts to get their way. The response was unexpected and threatened the core of society: venison raids by armed, black-faced men against church, gentry and the crown, Hampshire smugglers to the fore, food riots and local men paid to form regiments to back the invasion of the Stuart pretenders.

The establishment responded with England’s most vicious piece of legislation, the Black Act, stationed troops in Farnham and used forced labour, evictions, transportation and hangings. Ropley’s Legacy is a history of small battles all won by unscrupulous and determined landowners and lost by voiceless labouring families.

An important book … thought-provoking … a tour de force … very, very interesting … brings local characters alive … made me angry … fascinating … thoroughly enjoyable … well researched … some rich Hampshire landowners will be upset